Cape Town - Mamelodi Sundowns dug deep against SuperSport United in the Tshwane derby on Sunday to claim a 2-1 victory in the Absa Premiership clash at Lucas Moripe Stadium.
The hosts were gifted with a half-chance early on in the clash as United goalkeeper Ronwen Williams came off his line in an attempt to collect the ball on the edge of his area. Sibusiso Vilakazi was first to the ball but couldn't get his lobbed effort on target.
At the other end of the pitch Matsatsantsa had their first real opportunity thanks to Dean Furman. The combative midfielder pressed Hlompho Kekana aggressively and won possession before playing it to Evans Rusike. He in turn made space for himself by running diagonally across the 'Downs defence but then his final product lacked the quality it required.
The deadlock was broken with a counter-attack in the 32nd minute. Sundowns attacked down the left flank via Tebogo Langerman and he crossed towards Vilakazi who knocked it down for Themba Zwane to pass into the back of the net from close range, despite a hint of offside.
Pitso Mosimane's charges created another good chance shortly before the break as Langerman yet again terrorised the United defence with his pin-point crosses from the left. The veteran defender's cross found Gaston Sirino via a deflection but the volleyed shot flew just over the bar.
United came back into the game after the interval and found themselves back on level terms after Kudakwashe Mahachi won a penalty. Furman stepped up and slotted the spot-kick with a placed shot into the bottom left corner of the goal.
However, Sundowns responded swiftly to restore their lead. On this occasion a cross came in from Kekana on the right flank and he found Thapelo Morena who volleyed it home with power at the near post to make it 2-1 to the visitors.
The Brazilians used their wealth of experience in the latter stages of the second half to slow the game down and control possession with more measured passes, reducing the risk of counter-attacks as they calmly saw out the victory and reduced the gap to Kaizer Chiefs to seven points despite having to contend with late pressure.